The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, National Association of Broadcasters, and 50 minority and women CEOs representing over 140 AM radio stations across the nation, have been vocal proponents of concrete action from the Federal Communications Commission to revitalize AM radio and promote diverse broadcast ownership. This week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement expressing strong support for AM revitalization and urging the other commissioners to decide where they stand on the issue. Pai’s full statement is below.
WASHINGTON, October 1, 2015.—Yesterday, I proposed to my colleagues that we include in the AM radio revitalization item an exclusive window for AM broadcasters to obtain new FM translators. This was the lead proposal in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking unanimously adopted two years ago under the leadership of then-Acting Chairwoman Clyburn. It has received overwhelming support, including previously from a majority of the FCC’s current members.
The moment of decision has arrived; Commissioners will now have to decide with whom they will stand. Will they stand with AM broadcasters across the country? Will they stand with 50 CEOs of minority-owned AM radio licensees? Will they stand with the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters? Will they stand with the Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council? Will they stand with U.S. House of Representatives and Congressional Black Caucus members Yvette Clarke, Bobby Rush, G.K. Butterfield, Brenda Lawrence, Stacey Plaskett, Elijah Cummings, Andre Carson, Hakeem Jeffries, Donald Payne, Jr., Karen Bass, David Scott, and Marcia Fudge? Will they stand with former Commissioners Michael Copps and Robert McDowell? In short, will they stand for revitalization of a communications service that predates the FCC itself and has exemplified localism, competition, and diversity in broadcasting?